Marula or Hacha Nut Basil Pesto

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Serves 4, super easy!

• 3 good handfuls fresh, chopped basil leaves
• 1 handful nuts, very lightly toasted
• 1 good handful Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
• ½ clove garlic, chopped
• extra virgin olive oil
• salt
• freshly ground black pepper
• lemon zest and small squeeze lemon juice (optional)

Pound the garlic with a little pinch of salt and the basil leaves in a pestle and mortar (or pulse in a food processor). Add a bit more garlic if you like, but usually ½ a clove is enough.

Add the nuts to the mixture and pound again.

Turn out into a bowl and add half the Parmesan. Stir gently and add olive oil – you need just enough to bind the sauce and get it to an oozy consistency.

Season to taste, then add most of the remaining cheese.
Pour in some more oil and taste again.
Keep adding a bit more cheese or oil until you are happy with the taste and consistency.

You may like to add some lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon juice at the end to give it a little twang, but it’s not essential. Try it with and without and see which you prefer.

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